Planning on upgrading your wardrobe? Recycle some old gear to help save on something new.
H&M, M&S. Schuh, John Lewis, River Island and New Look all have schemes that let you swap old clothes for vouchers.
It’s a great way to clear the clutter and save money at the same time. Plus it’s far better for items to go to charity or get recycled than adding to a landfill.
H&M clothes recycling scheme (£5 voucher)
Donate any bag of old clothes or unwanted garments into an H&M shop and you’ll be given a £5 voucher to spend as part of the H&M Garment Collection programme. In theory you’ll get a voucher per bag of clothes so you can get multiple vouchers. However there is a £25 minimum spend with each voucher.
So what can be in the bag? Well you don’t need to have any H&M products to get the voucher. And you can also donate any kind of textile, whether its curtains or knickers as the fabrics are all recycled.
You can also do the same at H&M’s Monki and & Other Stories brands. The latter also has a beauty recycling programme where you get 10% off their cosmetics if you take in your empty beauty product.
M&S and Oxfam’s Shwopping Clothes Exchange (£5 voucher/freebie)
There are three ways to get something back via Marks and Spencer and Oxfam.
Get a £5 off £35 voucher
Hand over your old gear at an Oxfam and you’ll also get a £5 voucher to spend on clothes in Marks and Spencer.
One item must be labelled M&S, and you can only use the voucher in the same calendar month. There’s a minimum £35 spend and it’s only valid on clothing, home or beauty.
I asked in a store a while ago if you can use the voucher with other offers and the checkout woman said she’d seen the vouchers be used with Sparks offers such as 20% off everything. So it’s worth grabbing one of these to use when those deals come around.
Get 20% off selected kids’ clothes
You can also trade in your old M&S school uniform and receive 20% off selected kids’ clothing as part of the Back To School Shwopping Scheme.
All you’ll need to do is hand in your pre-loved uniform at a participating M&S store and scan the QR code on the Shwop Box.
You’ll then receive a voucher for 20% off of kids’ daywear in the M&S app which can be used online or in-store.
Get a Sparks freebies
Or if you want to drop clothes off at an M&S Store you’ll be able to scan a QR code to receive a free treat via the M&S Sparks loyalty scheme.
It can be from any retailer, and the item doesn’t have to be clothing, with shoes, handbags, belts, hats, scarves, jewellery all taken, along with things like bedding, towels, throws and napkins.
The idea is that your donation will either be sold by Oxfam or recycled.
You’ll have to pop into a shop to see if it’s running there or not, but M&S say you can do this at most M&S clothing stores. It seems to work that you can get the Sparks treat every 30 days.
When I tried it the gift was a free pastry from the in-store bakery and I had 30 days to claim it. The M&S staff member who also tried it with me got the same promotion but I was told the offer will change and will be tailored to each person.
Clothes are still donated to Oxfam but you won’t get the £5 off voucher. My donation wasn’t checked to see if it included an M&S item.
River Island x ReSkinned (£5 voucher)
This scheme requires you to send at least three items via courier to Reskinned. In return you’ll get a £5 voucher to use on purchases over £40 at River Island stores. They’re only valid for one month from issue, so don’t forget to use them.
Schuh “Sell Your Soles” scheme (£5 voucher)
You can get a £5 voucher to use at Schuh for every pair of shoes you donate. The shoes are donated to Recyclatex with around 98% of materials reused.
You can use your voucher online or in-store on items at full price costing more than £25.
John Lewis “Fashion Cycle” (£5 voucher)
John Lewis stores will give you credit for returning old clothes as part of the FashionCycle scheme. They’ll accept shirts, t-shirts, jumpers, cardigans, jackets, coats, shorts, trousers, jeans, childrenswear, dresses, jumpsuits, and skirts.
You’ll get £5 credit which can be used towards another purchase of at least £20 to use on menswear, womenswear and childrenswear. Only one voucher can be used per purchase.
You need to make the new purchase at the same time you return the items, and it’s in-store only.
The initial trial required you to donate items from brands sold by John Lewis but that’s no longer the case. You do however need to be a member of the free My John Lewis scheme.
New Look and Hospice UK’s partnership (15% off)
Another scheme is over at New Look. You’ll get a voucher worth 15% off full-price New Look items if you donate a bag of clothing to a participating hospice charity shop. You’ll need to scan a QR code at the shop to get the voucher.
The clothes must be of a decent condition that the shops will be able to sell them on. The voucher can only be used once but you can continue to make donations in exchange for as many times as you want. You can only use the vouchers in New Look shops, not online.
George (10% off)
You can box or bag up 10 or more unwanted clothes and textiles and donate them at Asda. In exchange, you’ll get a 10% off code to use at George.
There are limits on the parcel size (50cm x 30cm x 30cm) and it can’t weigh more than 10kg. You’ll need to check in advance if your local store is participating.
Donate to cancer research via TK Maxx (no voucher)
You can take a bag of unwanted clothes to TK Maxx who will pass it on to Cancer Research to sell or recycle. Cancer Research will keep all the proceeds.
Donate to Zara (no voucher)
Zara will also take unwanted clothes that will be donated to those in need or sold by charitable organisations to raise funds. There’s no voucher for you if you do this.